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Friday,  May 17, 2024 9:14 PM 

Solar eclipse: YYZ not expecting disruptions, but advises travellers to leave early for airport


Solar eclipse: YYZ not expecting disruptions, but advises travellers to leave early for airport
Image of the 2023 Australian total solar eclipse in Exmouth. (Shutterstock/aeonWAVE)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

A rare cosmic event is making some big buzz in Ontario as the province, for the first time in 45 years, gets ready for a total solar eclipse on Monday afternoon (April 8).

By mid-day, the moon is set to completely cover the face of the sun, allowing only the sun’s atmosphere to show and causing the sky to go dark.

Toronto will get a partial solar eclipse, while cities near the Greater Toronto Area, including Niagara Falls and Hamilton, will be on the path of totality.

Across Ontario, the eclipse will start at approximately 2 p.m. EST before peaking between 3:15 and 3:25 p.m. in most major cities, reports say. The start of the eclipse and how long it lasts will vary, depending on where you are viewing it from.

What does it mean for air travel?

What does the eclipse mean for air travel in the province?

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) took to the X social media platform on Monday to share an update, and it sounds like things will be business as usual.  

“While Toronto Pearson does not lie in the path of totality for Monday's eclipse, we are in the path that will see the sun mostly hidden. From an operations standpoint, we expect planes to continue to land and depart as usual, along with ground side operations to function normally,” the facility wrote.

Canada’s largest airport is, however, anticipating heavy traffic on major highways, and therefore, suggesting travellers “give themselves extra time to get to the airport.”

John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM) is sharing the same advice.

“Traffic across the region is expected to be heavier than usual on Monday (April 8) due to the total solar eclipse,” YHM wrote on X. “Travellers are encouraged to allow extra time on the roads to get to and from the Airport.”

Eyes to the sky in Niagara Falls

The countdown is on in Niagara Falls, which was declared by National Geographic to be one of the best places to view the eclipse.

Up to a million people are expected to descend on the touristic city on Monday. Niagara Falls declared a state of emergency ahead of the solar event as it prepares for massive crowds to areas in and around the city’s waterfalls.

The Niagara region said in a statement that Regional Chair Jim Bradley called the emergency "out of an abundance of caution."

"Declaring a state of emergency…strengthens the tools the region has at its disposal to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors and protect our critical infrastructure in any scenario that might arise," a Niagara region press release said.

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati said earlier in March that he expects the most visitors his city has ever seen in a single day.

The next total solar eclipse in Canada will be in 2044 and will be visible to those in Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan and the Yukon, according to the online database Time and Date


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